How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course Huntsville 35801
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Huntsville AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Some potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Huntsville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Huntsville AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Huntsville AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Huntsville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Huntsville AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Huntsville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Huntsville AL school you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Huntsville AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Huntsville AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Huntsville AL colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Huntsville home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Huntsville AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Huntsville AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Huntsville Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County and south into Morgan County.
It was founded in 1805 and became an incorporated town in 1811. The city grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.
Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census, making it the fourth-largest city in Alabama. Huntsville is the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area. The Huntsville metropolitan area's population was 417,593 in 2010, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alabama. Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Huntsville AL
Picking the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Courses Fees. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Huntsville AL.
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